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Civil War Dbq

Essay by   •  December 11, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,162 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,104 Views

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The Civil War is widely believed to be the necessary evil our country had to go through in order to come to a common understanding and abolishment of slavery. Yet the slavery had existed in our lands since before our country was even established, so what made us examine it closer so as to see that its nullification was required? Between the years of 1850 to 1861, our countryЎЇs eyes were turned toward slavery by the major reform movements in the north, the discrepancies that came with the westward expansion, and the dispute over what rights a state was truly granted.

The main movement that occurred primarily in the north was the Abolitionist Movement, the goal of which was the eventual emancipation of slaves. This faction began from a moral standpoint, but quickly transformed itself into a political one when it received so much attention. It was also spurred on to new heights when Uncle TomЎЇs Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was published, which turned the northЎЇs attention to the sensitive (and less spoken of) conditions of slavery. The south saw the Abolitionist Movement as an attempt to displace them by jeopardizing their way of life. The south had come to depend on slave labor, they had actually grown accustomed to the ideas that blacks were complete subordinates to whites and should be happy to serve such a great purpose as being slaves (Document C). Not only were slaves technically owned, they were considered chattel to their masters, even those who belonged to masters living in a state in which slavery had been abolished (Document B). Most southerners were of the opinion that, since they did not infringe on the northЎЇs economy of textiles and factories, the north should not contravene on their economy of cotton. Meanwhile, the north has a rather base opinion of the south as a whole, thinking of it as archaic society that was holding them back. The sectionalism was not helped any by the educational reforms taking place in the north. These movements helped education become more accessible to all citizens, while in the south education was ÐŽoput on the back burnersÐŽ±. The movements that occurred during the antebellum of the Civil War simply increased the sectionalist divide of the northern and southern societies, which threw their differences into greater light including slavery.

The idea of manifest destiny stimulated the westward expansion of the United States, but the expansion was a divisive factor when considering the issue of slavery. Already the north dominated the nation; the House of Representatives was composed of mostly northerners, only the Senate was relatively equal. With the westward expansion came the southЎЇs fear that states entering the union would be non-slave states, which would sway the Senate to the north as well. When Lincoln became president, he expressed the opinions of not wanting to abolish slavery, but he did not want it to extend to any new state of the union. This angered the south who argued that they had the same right to expand their culture as the north did. Lincoln seemed to be well aware of the impending national split, for he never directly infringed upon slavery until the middle of the Civil War itself, and he always stressed the need for union in our country (Document H). A huge conflict came about with the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1856. Back in 1820, the Missouri Compromise set out the guidelines for western expansion saying that slavery would be prohibited in the Louisiana Purchase territory above the 36ўЄ 36ЎЇ north latitude. This was instated so the Senate would not be swayed one way or another. When Kansas and Nebraska were pursuing statehood, they were pegged to enter the union as slave states, the problem: their geographical location was above the line set out in the Missouri Compromise. The north was outraged by the breech of the Compromise (Document A), the concern of adding two slave states at once incited northerners to head out to the new territories where

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